ActivePaper Archive Carl’s Jr. store in Hobbs closes without explanation - Hobbs News Sun, 1/30/2019

Carl’s Jr. store in Hobbs closes without explanation


Less than three years after opening in Hobbs, the Carl’s Jr. restaurant closed on Monday, to the surprise of all local employees.

Known for its “Beyond Famous Star” hamburgers, the local franchise joins sister stores in Carlsbad and Roswell in also closing.

The sign on the Hobbs door reads, “Sorry, we’re closed permanently. Thank you for your support during our years of operation. If you are craving for a juicy burger, please visit us in El Paso and (Albuquerque) area.”

Lei Aliimatafitafi, local store manager, said she had no authorization to talk about the closing but confirmed she and about 20 employees were surprised Monday when a corporate officer informed them they were out of work.

The officer, saying he was from the corporate offices in Dallas, declined to identify himself to the Hobbs News-Sun because he said he had no authority to discuss the closure, but he said the staff was shocked on Monday morning to learn of the closure. He also confirmed the Carl’s Jr. stores in Carlsbad and Roswell are closing.

Email and telephone attempts to contact the corporate offices and the franchise owner failed Tuesday.

The store in Hobbs celebrated a ribbon-cutting and grand opening on May 6, 2016, following construction of a new building on Joe Harvey Boulevard. The 2,340-square-foot building was constructed between February and May, 2016, at the time lauded as a great achievement.

Economic Development Corporation president and CEO Steve Vierck said he was surprised to hear the news of the Carl’s Jr. closure.

“I’m really disappointed to learn it’s closed,” he said. “It’s a popular franchise, typically. I don’t know the specifics that led to their decision.”

Cautious about assuming reasons, he noted a number of businesses are searching for workers.

“Restaurants certainly are among those businesses,” he said. “But I don’t want to assume that’s the issue.”

A number of other franchises reportedly are interested in this growing Hobbs and Lea County market, Vierck said.

“There’s significant franchise interest here,” he said. “There’s no doubt we’ll see more franchises coming in.”

Asked whether the relatively new Carl’s Jr. building or the franchise is being sold to a new buyer, the unidentified corporate representative said, “ I can’t say.”